For recent graduates, student loan consolidation may be a viable option when exploring your loan repayment options. Consolidation allows you to combine loans from multiple sources/lenders into a single loan. This has the benefit of making a single monthly payment to one loan servicer instead of multiple payments to multiple lenders. A consolidation loan also allows your payments to be spread out over a longer repayment period (up to 30 years), lowering your monthly payment. Direct consolidation loans offer a fixed interest rate, which may be of benefit if any of your student loans are variable interest rate loans.
However, consolidation loans also have some drawbacks which should be considered before making the choice to consolidate your student loans. By extending your repayment period, you will also be making more payments over time, as well as paying more interest. Also, some benefits which may apply to your original loans may be lost if you choose to consolidate. Therefore, it's important to weigh all pros and cons before making the decision to consolidate your student loans.
The Federal Student Aid website offers a Consolidation Checklist for students who may be considering a consolidation loan. You may also check out the consolidation resources below for more information.
- Department of Education's Consolidation Information page
- Federal Student Aid Direct Consolidation Loans
- U.S. Department of Education Cancellation and Consolidation page
- Federal Direct Consolidation Loans: Apply Online
- Federal Direct Consolidation Loans: Borrower Rights & Responsibilities
- ECMC: Loan Consolidation Information